House Sparrow

The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) (sometimes called the English sparrow) is an Old World sparrow brought to eastern North America in the 1850s. It has since spread throughout North America, coming into Saskatchewan in 1899, and is now a common resident in the south and middle of the province. It is not migratory, and in the spring takes up nest sites which are then not available for the native migrants, thus preventing them from breeding. As a non-native non-game species, it is not protected.

The Old World sparrows (family Passeridae) of Eurasia and Africa are a small family of songbirds comprising about thirty-six species. They are stout-bodied, short-legged seed eaters, with a special bill for cracking seed coats. They have very simple songs, which helps distinguish them from the native sparrows. The males, with their black bibs and masks as well as fluttering courtship behaviour and cheeping call, are very visible and audible in the early spring.

Diane Secoy

Further Reading

Alsop, Fred J., III. 2002. Birds of Canada. New York: Dorling Kindersley.